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iOS 9.3 has a nasty bug and you might not want to upgrade just yet

Published Mar 28th, 2016 7:45AM EDT
iOS 9.3 Bug

Though Apple typically saves major iOS upgrades for September, the company shook things up last week with the release of iOS 9.3. Typically, mid-year iOS updates are rather boring affairs that tend to focus on minor security enhancements and even more minor bug fixes. iOS 9.3, however, delivers a number of compelling features, including Night Shift and the ability to secure Notes behind Touch ID.

Ahead of the iOS 9.3 roll out, Apple released to developers seven betas of the relatively major software update. Nonetheless, Apple didn’t seem to catch a major bug that recently began affecting many users who opted to upgrade to iOS 9.3 just a few days ago.

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Apple’s support forums are currently swimming in complaints from iOS 9.3 users claiming that the company’s latest software update effectively broke their ability to click on and open web links. As if that weren’t frustrating enough, some users are experiencing app crashes when attempting to open web links in Safari. From what we can gather thus far, the problem is affecting both iPhones and iPads.

While some users claim that the problem only surfaces when they try to open a link in a new tab, others are experiencing app crashes anytime they click on a link, whether it be from within Safari, or via an embedded link in Messages, Mail or third-party apps.

One representative complaint reads:

I am having the same issue with the iOS 9.3 upgrade to my iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2. Can not open web links within Safari. It just freezes on both devices. Any third party apps using Safari to open links or web pages freezes as well.

Though some users report that disabling javascript can help, this quick fix doesn’t work for everyone. Notably, other users have indicated that using Google’s Chrome app bypasses the problem, though it doesn’t account for system freezes when clicking on links via the Messages and Mail apps.

One commenter on an Apple discussion forum claimed to have been informed that the issue is being escalated to upper-tier Apple engineers in an effort to figure out the root cause of the problem. Additionally, the newly created Apple Support Twitter account has been fielding multitudes of complaints about the issue as well.

We’ll make sure to keep you posted as to when Apple issues a fix or addresses the problem.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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